If you are reading this you have just begun the retaining process with our office. To complete the retaining process you must provide our office with :
- Your signed and completed Retainer Agreement;
- Your retainer fee;
- Your completed Addendum (which includes all parties information not just your own);
- A complete copy of the Judgment;
- A copy of the Petition and Response for Dissolution (for Joinder purposes, not needed for 401(K)’s or Private Employers Plans);
- For Public Plans- Provide the name of the Participant’s employer; and
- A statement for each plan being divided as of Date of Marriage; Date of Separation; and current.
You have now completed the retaining process with our office. Here is what we are working on now:
- Opening your file
- Reviewing your court order(s)
- Preparing one of the following 638 Special Master Stipulation/730 Expert Stipulation/ Limited Scope (not required in all matters)
- If your matter has a separate property claim, a trace will be initiated and completed. There is an additional fee which will have to be discussed with the QDRO Attorney as not all traces cost the same.
- Drafting the QDRO (estimated time for completion is 4 weeks after being retained not including time to complete trace which varies, if one is needed)
- If the Plan name on the QDRO differs from the Plan name written in your Judgment the court may require that we prepare a Stipulation to Modify Judgment to correct the name difference. If there are any Family Law Attorneys still on the case they must sign this document in addition to all parties. The Court will not process your QDRO without this document. There is an additional fee of $150.00 if this is required.
Please note: If we require additional information and/or documents a request will be made at this time and your file will be on hold until the information/documents are received. Once we have everything we need to complete the draft QDRO we will move your file on to the next step.
Please note: You are responsible for collecting and producing any necessary documents to complete any Separate Property Trace and/or QDRO. The QDRO Attorney will not conduct Discovery for you.
Now that we have drafted your QDRO our office is taking these steps:
- Sending the draft QDRO to all parties and their Attorneys (if any) for review and signature (estimated time for receiving all signatures is 30 days as this is ample time to review the document and discuss questions you may have regarding your QDRO)
- Sending the draft QDRO to the Plan Administrator for preapproval (estimated time for completion 2-3 months)
- Preparing, filing and serving a Joinder (not required in all matters). The fee for Joinders is $150.00 or you can use our Joinder Generator on our website for free.
- If we prepared a 638/730 Stipulation/Limited Scope/Stipulation to Modify Judgment we will be collecting signatures so we may file these documents with the Court (estimated time for receiving all signatures is 30 days as this is ample time to review and ask questions on these documents)
Please note: Once you receive the draft QDRO if you have questions regarding the language you may set an appointment to go over the draft with Attorney Ruegg.
Please note: If either party and/or their Attorney of record requests changes and they are reasonable and appropriate, the QDRO will be re-drafted and the process will begin again. The same goes for any changes requested from the Plan Administrator. If either party demands unnecessary changes (the QDRO Attorney will communicate whether the changes are necessary or unnecessary) there will be a re-draft fee at the QDRO Attorney’s hourly rate.
In the event of a non-cooperative party, one of the following actions will take place:
- If you have a clear Judgment with proper Plan Name, no Attorneys on the case:
- We will send out 4 letters to the non-cooperative party. Once the final letter has gone out we will prepare a Notice of Submission in your name to ask the court to sign on the non-cooperative party’s behalf. This usually results in one of two things happening 1) the Judge will sign and process the QDRO or 2) the Court will set a hearing date of which you must attend and the court will either process the QDRO at the hearing or explain to you why they are not going to and what you must do to process the QDRO. Following the hearing you must provide us with either the processed, certified-stamped QDRO and/or the information the Judge provided you if they will not process it so we can try to finalize your QDRO. The fee for the Notice of Submission preparation is $350.00.
- If your Judgment reserves jurisdiction, does not state the proper Plan name, or the QDRO is an omitted asset (meaning it is not mentioned in your Judgment), no Attorneys on the case:
- We will send out 4 letters to the non-cooperative party. Once the final letter has gone out we will prepare a Request for Order in your name to file for a hearing for you to obtain the court order to process the QDRO. You must attend the hearing and provide us with the court order resulting from that hearing so we can finalize your QDRO. The fee for the Request for Order is $350.00.
- If you have Attorneys on the case:
- You will be referred to your Family Law Attorney to handle the situation back in court.
At this point we have drafted your QDRO; obtained all required signatures; and obtained preapproval. We can now file your QDRO with the Court. Our office will assemble the documents with all necessary copies for the court to process your documents.
- Your estimated wait time is 3-4 months before we receive your certified-stamped QDRO back from court. The wait time is this long as the court processes QDROs in the order received once it makes its way to the Judge’s desk.
Congratulations! You are now in the final phase of the QDRO process. We have your certified-stamped QDRO, now what?
- The QDRO gets scanned into our system
- We will send all parties a copy of the processed QDRO for their records
- The original certified-stamped QDRO is mailed to the Plan Administrator for final review and division (estimated wait time 90-180 days depending on the companies policies and procedures. Please Note: some plans may take longer, up to 2 years to complete their division.)
- We wait for the final letter from the Plan Administrator stating the division is completed.
We have received your final letter from the Plan Administrator. If you have questions regarding your division you should contact the Plan Administrator handling your matter as it is now in their hands. Thank you for choosing our office to assist you . It was a pleasure working with you. At this time we are closing your file.